As a small business owner and working alone, usually from home, it can be so hard to stay motivated if things don’t work out immediately as planned.
We start a business, we have fantastic ideas and want to get it all done immediately. So we start a blog or a website, we design a logo, we sell our first product or service and think it is all going so well. However a few weeks in the excitement of the new starts to fade away, all our friends have bought our products and now we need new customers and they are not coming. We try a little bit of social media marketing but it is hard, we continue blogging but nobody is reading our posts, we go to a market and not many people are looking at our products. There are so many things that can demotivate us. And there comes a point when we feel totally disappointed and are close to quitting.
I might have exaggerated a little bit but I still think we have experienced it all, this feeling of nothing is working and feeling demotivated.
Can you relate at all? If you sometimes feel a low and need some motivation to keep going then read on! I have put together a list of my six favorite ways to motivate myself as a small business owner and working from home.
Remember why you started
I think this is the best and easiest way to motivate yourself and stay on track even if things don’t work the way you wish they were working. Also if things get hard. Always think back and remember why you started this business!
Why did you have your business idea?
Also what is your core business idea?
Why did you want to be your own boss?
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
Why did you want to work from home?
What big ideas and plans do you have for your business?
Sit back, close your eyes and ask yourself all these questions. Can you see the answers in front of you? Do you feel the feeling of excitement again about your business idea?
Forget what happened and move on
You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over. - Richard Branson
We all make mistakes. And not everything works for everyone. There might have been obstacles that were out of your control.
Whatever it is or was, remember failing isn’t a bad thing. Making mistakes isn’t a bad thing!
It can actually be a good thing and you can learn from it. So pick yourself up again, take a away a new learning and start again.
Learn what works for you and what doesn’t until you find the best way to achieve your goals.
Try and use your mistakes or failures and turn them around so that they will motivate you even more!
I say this for branding all the time, but the same applies to business: persistence is key!
There are so many business owners out there with the same ideas and many businesses fail within the first year. So most people give up too early. But if you stay consistent and keep showing up you will be the one business that survives and be successful!
I found a very interesting article by the entrepreneur about why some companies fail and some don’t. You can read the full article here:
But I wanted to highlight five points they mentioned why start-ups succeed as they support exactly what I wrote above:
Founders are driven by impact, resulting in passion and commitment
Commitment to stay the course and stick with a chosen path
Willingness to adjust, but not constantly adjusting
Patience and persistence due to the timing mismatch of expectations and reality
Willingness to observe, listen and learn
Set yourself goals
Now that you remembered why you started sit down and set yourself some goals. May be they are new or adjusted after your learnings. They don’t need to be big but just set some goals. These can be goals what you want to achieve each week or each months or even on a daily basis.
Of course quarterly and yearly business goals are also great and important but here I mean small goals.
For example sit down and make an editorial calendar for Instagram and start posting once a day or write down all the steps how you want to get your next customer. Now put a day next to each step and start working towards those goals.
Now that you have some small goals, start small and take a day, or a week at a time but stay consistent!
Celebrate your successes
Ok, you have set yourself some goals, now it's time to really acknowledge it when you achieve them! And I don’t mean open a bottle of champagne every time you posted something on Instagram. But I do mean that you should be proud of your success, even though it might be small. Tell yourself that this might have been a small success but it was good, it felt good. Give yourself a small pat on the shoulder and smile about it!
And once your next customer has bought from you, you can celebrate a bit more :-)
Get an accountability partner
Starting a business alone can be quite lonely. Therefore it is so important to share your ideas, dreams, failures and successes with someone. So find someone you trust to share your goals with so that he or she can hold you accountable on them.
It can be a friend who also has a small business and you can support each other not only with ideas but also by keeping each other accountable. Of course it could also be your husband. (Just make sure he actually holds your accountable, because sometimes we don’t want to talk business in the evening.) And it can also be someone you actually don’t know so well because you met online for example. The possibilities here are endless but it really helps if there is someone who is kind of looking over your shoulder and wants to hear what you are doing and working.
This can be done through a daily chat or a a weekly meeting and it doesn’t matter if the person lives close by or far away. The meetings can be in person or through some online platform like skype. It is just important again to stay consistent on it and actually chat quickly (even if its 5 minutes) so see what the other person is working on and to hold each other accountable.
For example I live in Dubai and through a facebook group I have found another designer, Lisa, who lives in Melbourne, Australia and she has become my accountability partner. We have a biweekly virtual meeting where we tell each other the work we need to do and our goals for the next two weeks and during the next meeting we hold each other accountable ;-) And we help and check on each other on a regular basis which is so nice as we feel less alone like that.
And my last tip is to listen to or read something inspirational. This can be reading a blog, a book or newspaper that inspires you. It can also be listening to a podcast or watching a youtube video by someone who always inspires you. It can be listening to your favorite music or going to your favorite art gallery. There are so many ways and I am sure you know what inspires you, just remember that!
For example I like to go for a run and listen to a podcast by Melyssa Griffin called Pursuit with Purpose. She has some great podcast on business but also life in general and personally I think they are always very inspirational. Here is the link to her podcasts if you are intersted.
But there are also many others out there, just do some searching and you will find something that inspires you!
So I really hope I was able to inspire you today with this post to make you keep going, to stay motivated and follow your dream! I know you can do it!
And I want to finish off by giving you some inspirational quotes to motivate you:
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”– Nelson Mandela
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
“When you have exhausted all your possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.” – Thomas Edison, inventor
"The best way of learning anything, is by doing." - Richard Branson
Have a great and productive day and week everyone!
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